In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Prophet (May Allah exalt his mention and protect him from imperfection), made Zakat al-Fitr compulsory on every slave, freeman, male, female, young and old among the Muslims; one Saa` (a measurement: four double handfuls) of dried dates or one Saa` of barley. [Sahih Bukhari – Arabic/English, vol. 2, p. 339, no. 579]
Commentary: Zakat al-Fitr, which is food, must be in the hands of the needy family BEFORE Eid prayer.